Winter Olympics push boundaries of human ability

by Jenna Reed correspondent

Winter, thus far in 2014, is off to a record-breaking start. The ‘Polar Vortex’ plunged parts of the country into a deep freeze with some of the coldest temperatures seen in the last three decades.  But winter in 2014 is poised to make more headlines and break more records as the 2014 Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 6th (NBC will air the opening ceremonies on Friday, Feb. 7th).

The upcoming games, hosted in Sochi, Russia, are the 22nd Winter Olympics. Ninety countries are preparing to compete in 98 events in seven different sports. More than 2,500 athletes are expected to participate in the games this winter. They will compete individually, as teammates, and as countrymen. The Olympic Creed captures the spirit of the competition: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

The journey to these Olympics began back in 2007 when Sochi was elected as the 2014 winter Olympics location. Since then, the equivalent of more than 10 billion U.S. dollars have been spent in preparation. The road has not been smooth or easy, as conflict has surrounded the games both financially and socially (see page 2 in News).

But for the competitors themselves, these Olympics have been a lifetime in the making. Whether they are returning athletes, such as the well-known two-time halfpipe gold-medalist Shaun White, or fresh to the field, these athletes each have story of dedication and passion.

Since this will be the only Olympic competition that occurs during your stay at Moody, make an effort to see some of it. I asked a handful of students if they knew when and where the Olympics were occurring. The responses made it clear that many, if not most, Moody students are unaware that the Olympics are upon us. But one of the few knowledgeable and excited students, Rachel Gregory, sophomore applied linguistics major, explained why she loves the games. “There is something about viewing the human body in the Olympics, seeing it reach its fullest potential and pushing its limits, that is inspiring. It is thrilling to watch and see what man is capable of.”

To catch the competition in between class and to cheer on your home country you may have to be a little creative. Houghton one is always a good option: gather some friends, make some snacks and make it a date. Another option for staying on campus is to stream the games live. If you have a cable provider you can enter your verification online at and watch a live stream of the competition. For off campus alternatives find a restaurant that is airing the coverage or find an alumnus, a church member, or a family member who lives near the city who will let you sit on their couch and soak in some of the incredible athleticism.

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